Wereporteda few weeks ago that we hoped to persuade the York Council to get to grips with outstanding maintenance issues on Foss Islands Road. The main problem related to lack of care for the cultivated areas lying between the public highway and the private shops boundary.
We said at the time that we were confident that it was a Council responsibility to cut back and maintain the area between the public footpath and the carriageway.
The Council have now confirmed that this is the case.
Officials have suggested that this area is either wild flowered or reseeded and cut as with other roadside verges 10 times a year. Any remedial work will take place in the spring. The Council will however be giving it a general cut back early in the new year.
Unfortunately no one is admitting liability for maintaining the area outside the public footpath although it seems likely that the frontagers will have some responsibilities.
This busy part of the City is seen by hundreds of thousands of people each year.
We reported earlier in the year that the verge and planted areas on Foss Islands Road needed to be cut back. They were overgrown with nettles, thistles and other weeds.
We expected that this issue would have been sorted by now but a visit today revealed that the problems continue. This is particularly disappointing in an area which is visible from the City Walls and which a large number of people see each week.
We have now formally approached the Council to determine who is responsible for maintenance and to what standards.
Contractors were out today removing nettle growth from the side of the Foxwood Lane footpath.
The nettles had been a nuisance during the late summer period although not, this year, as bad as in some previous years.
Mechanical treatment – often by local farmers – is usually
an efficient and economical way of controlling weeds and cutting back hedges.
Meanwhile a Freedom of Information request has revealed that
this year weed control contractors have only been paid part of the £37,020.89
value of the contract. The response says that £18,498.70 has so far been paid during the
The response does reveal the amounts paid to specialist weed control contractors over the last 9 years.
2019/20 – A. Morrison’s & Sons £37,020.89.
2018/19 – Munroe’s – £31,189
2017/18 – Munroe’s – £31,189
2016/17 – Munroe’s – £31,189
2015/16 – Munroe’s – £27,192
2014/15 – Dobsons – £68,538
2013/14 – Dobsons – £66,867
2012/13 – Nomix Enviro – £69,792
2011/12 – Nomix Enviro – £79,036
Interestingly the York Council, in the Spring, accepted a tender the value of which was only half that submitted in 2011.
It was later discovered that the list of streets to be treated was incomplete.
There have been chronic problems with weed control during the
summer and, as we reported a few days ago, many streets still require attention.
Sorry to see that weed growth on the east of the City hasn’t been cleared some 3 months after first being reported. Mainly thistles growing in gutters and drainage channels. May (or may not) die back as winter gets a grip. But all is not yet fixed with many public service standards in the City still not up to standard.
It emerged today that the York Council has already handed over £18,498.70 this year to the contractor charged with controlling weed growth in the City.
The figure conflicts with assurances given at a public review meeting held earlier in the week when the impression was given that payments were being withheld because of poor performance.
The contract states that treated areas must be “98%” free of weed growth. Clearly this isn’t the case in most of the City. In additional several major roads and areas were omitted by the Council – in error – from the contract. These areas, including parts of theA59 and A1237, are still not showing any “die back” as a result of the promised “third treatment”
The meeting on Monday was largely indecisive. A further
review is promised but it appears that the existing contract isn’t being
There are no plans to undertake weed control activities in
at least a “trial” sector of the City using the Councils own workforce. This would
have allowed work quality claims to be tested.
The latest revelations are likely to lead to renewed calls
for greater transparency on the activities of the Councils’ partners. One
Councillor (Mark Warters) has already asked for copies of weed control activity
worksheets for his ward to be published. In addition, many residents believe that
the results of contract supervisory checks should be made public. These issues may
be subject to a Freedom of Information request.
A list of suggested initiatives was presented by residents to the meeting (above right). A response is awaited.
The latest footfall figures, reproduced by the BID team, reveal that there has been a 4% drop in visitor numbers so far this year. It is even worse on a year on year basis and is below the county average
That is a poor platform on which to approach the, normally busy, run up to Christmas.
In Acomb, the picture is slightly different with some traders reporting steady business trends. This is despite the lamentable performance recently of the Council in keeping open spaces, gutters and the areas around trees and street furniture free of weeds and litter.
The picture in residential areas is also disappointing with weeds disfiguring many streets